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General Chat Thread, Uh oh. Labour cutting education budget in General; ...
  1. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by torledo View Post
    Meanwhile.....



    that sounds more tory than the tories. Perhaps you've got a bit of an outdated understanding of the actual differences between the main parties ?
    I'm well aware that there's not an awful lot of difference. Even the Lib Dems are calling for a freeze on public sector salaries so there's not much difference there, either.

    I know that the UK is hugely in debt but I'm not sure I understand why everyone is so keen to fix this so quickly. I could have misunderstood this but isn't a big part of the debt because we've bought shares in the various banks that were in trouble?

    RBS seeks to loosen grip of toxic asset scheme - Times Online says "RBS shares, which hit a low of 10p each in January, have rallied as investors have grown more confident about the economic climate and their loan portfolios have begun to appear less fragile. RBS shares closed at 56.3p last week, giving the Government a paper profit of £1.9 billion on its stake, which was taken last October."

    Less than 2 years ago, RBS shares were worth 10 times that; if they return to that value within the next few years then doesn't the government (ie us) get back not just what they spent on the shares but an absolutely massive profit? Doesn't that help to pay off the debt? If so, why can't we just wait a few years? I appreciate we have to fund the borrowing in the short term but is that really not possible?

  2. #32
    cookie_monster's Avatar
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    Mr Balls spoke of comprehensives merging to form federations, so a head teacher and a team of deputies would work across the different schools.
    Interesting I've said the same about senior IT staff in schools.

  3. #33

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    Don't assume that they're real at all!
    They apparently got the numbers from the DCSF's "School Workforce in England, June 2009, Tables 1 and 14".

    it's simply not true to say that every increase in support staff is a waste of money.
    Did anyone say that?

    IT support staff and network managers <snip> - the taxpayers alliance will tell you that they're a waste of money
    Will they? Have they? Where? They appear to have their sights locked on manglement in that document.

  4. #34
    torledo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by srochford View Post
    I'm well aware that there's not an awful lot of difference. Even the Lib Dems are calling for a freeze on public sector salaries so there's not much difference there, either.

    I know that the UK is hugely in debt but I'm not sure I understand why everyone is so keen to fix this so quickly. I could have misunderstood this but isn't a big part of the debt because we've bought shares in the various banks that were in trouble?

    RBS seeks to loosen grip of toxic asset scheme - Times Online says "RBS shares, which hit a low of 10p each in January, have rallied as investors have grown more confident about the economic climate and their loan portfolios have begun to appear less fragile. RBS shares closed at 56.3p last week, giving the Government a paper profit of £1.9 billion on its stake, which was taken last October."

    Less than 2 years ago, RBS shares were worth 10 times that; if they return to that value within the next few years then doesn't the government (ie us) get back not just what they spent on the shares but an absolutely massive profit? Doesn't that help to pay off the debt? If so, why can't we just wait a few years? I appreciate we have to fund the borrowing in the short term but is that really not possible?
    i don't disagree with you at all about the bank bailouts.

    It seems clear now that whichever govt. is in power a few years from now will make a stinking big profit on those bank shares. Infact, never mind 2k to scrap an old banger, i wish the govt. had given me 2k of free money back in March to buy bank and housebuilders shares. I'd have bought all those penny shares and made a mint myself. then would have gone out and spent some of it in the economy

    But i think the parties are talking mainly about addressing the budget balance with cuts. At the moment tax revenues are considerably less than the total annual govt. spending commitments which include some stimulus spending, and the govt. has supposedly had to 'borrow' more to 'fund' the shortfall/it's annual spending commitments. Hence the budget balance is in deficit. Eventually ofcourse they'll be selling assets like the bank shares to reduce the size of the public debt.

    Whether they actually need to borrow to fund this spending, and whether running a deficit is even a problem is never discussed. Only that the deficit needs to be taken under control....here the parties don't differ, they never have done. If i'm not mistaken the govt. ran a minor budget deficit after the mini-2001 US recession which was reducing in recent years before it plunged into 10%+ terriroty [which is large by recent standards] following the banking crisis..

    Much of this talk of cuts is a lot of jawboning from the political parties. Exiting out of recession and economic recovery will automatically see an increase in tax revenues over time, and once the private sector indicates a desire to not save as much or pay down debt [as it becomes more confident about job security and the economy] then this rebound in privates sector spending will too automatically reduce the size of this deficit.

    Also, the politicians [especially labour] are incapable of making tough choices on cuts, you can see that with Balls talking about making savings via 'natural wastage'. What a cop out. The politicians will also pick on easy targets when it comes to cuts, stuff related to immigration is an easy target for instance. The main parties are good at pandering to the court of public opinion.

    So really this is about political persuasion, with the timing of an election in 2010 the parties can only really talk about cuts from 2011 onwards anyway, in the meantime they just confound us with figures. Each trying to show they can make the required efficiency savings without losing frontline services.

    Labour claim they can make savings and reduce ineffeciency without affecting services, which begs the question as to what they were doing for the last 10 years ? Did they really just spend without thought and consequence, i suspect they did, based on some of the projects and ideas i've seen given insane amounts of funding.

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  6. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by torledo View Post
    Labour claim they can make savings and reduce ineffeciency without affecting services, which begs the question as to what they were doing for the last 10 years ? Did they really just spend without thought and consequence, i suspect they did, based on some of the projects and ideas i've seen given insane amounts of funding.
    Labour have been like a kid in a sweet shop for 10 years. Saving? pah! What's the use of that? Some other party will end up spending our savings anyway!

  7. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by cookie_monster View Post
    Interesting I've said the same about senior IT staff in schools.
    I heard a quote today on the radio on my way to work about schools sharing admin staff as well as SMT too...

    Shared management, outsourced ICT, shared admin..... it's beginning to sound like the old days when schools were run by LAs and all schools did supposedly was teach

  8. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by broc View Post
    I heard a quote today on the radio on my way to work about schools sharing admin staff as well as SMT too...

    Shared management, outsourced ICT, shared admin..... it's beginning to sound like the old days when schools were run by LAs and all schools did supposedly was teach
    Shared admin? I'd like to see how they'd do that and reduce staff numbers... The number of admin staff in many schools is low compared to the ever increasing amount of paperwork required to be done.

    I think one way of saving money would be to stop making databases about everything. Example, the data checking sheets for staff this year now have a section on academic qualifications - requiring course codes and the like. This has caused hours of extra work for our admin people, having to locate numbers and figure things out. Simple things like that cause massive workload.

  9. #38


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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Shared admin? I'd like to see how they'd do that and reduce staff numbers... The number of admin staff in many schools is low compared to the ever increasing amount of paperwork required to be done.
    You never know, they might do something sensible and apply common sense to the bureaucracy, reducing the unnecessary administrative overhead.

    Yeah, I know -

  10. #39
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    I can't really see shared admin working as staff need direct access to them but a shared IT service could work. Every school has technicians on site but not every school would have an IT manager on site. Our school is part of a group that work together on lots of issues they could develop a common approach to IT that would give them far more purchasing power and you could have a senior IT manager that oversees a number of schools but is easily on hand to all of them. This will not generate massive savings but I doubt it would cause a drop in service or standards lets face it how often are schools paying an IT Manager to do technicians work.
    Not a solution that will work everywhere but where there's a number of schools close together it could be a viable option.

  11. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by cookie_monster View Post
    I can't really see shared admin working as staff need direct access to them but a shared IT service could work. Every school has technicians on site but not every school would have an IT manager on site. Our school is part of a group that work together on lots of issues they could develop a common approach to IT that would give them far more purchasing power and you could have a senior IT manager that oversees a number of schools but is easily on hand to all of them. This will not generate massive savings but I doubt it would cause a drop in service or standards lets face it how often are schools paying an IT Manager to do technicians work.
    Not a solution that will work everywhere but where there's a number of schools close together it could be a viable option.
    I agree with this idea myself actually. I see our feeder schools (we are in a soft federation) paying for support and IT equipment from our LEA at the moment, and sometimes not getting the best advice (for example one was advised to update their switches to 2650s 6 months ago, from existing 100mbit switches. Pointing out that that model was EOL and also not much faster than the Netgear FSM726's I had put in for them already brought about a blank face from them.)

  12. #41

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    Even the NASUWT was recommending that for federated schools, with for example three sets of SMT, Governors, & admin staff there may be scope for consolidation....

    However, given that many admin staff get paid even less than ICT support staff it is difficult to see that much money could be saved; certainly not as much as reducing the size of the management team or slimming down the number of 'men in grey suits' that frequent our LAs & Govt Depts or Quangos.

  13. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by tech_guy View Post
    Listen - can you hear that sound?

    It's the sound of RM rubbing its hands together at the thought of all those NMs and Techs that are going to get the chop and the support contracts they're going to win.....
    I don't think so as RM cost approx triple of what an in house ICt department costs... so it could be the end of out sourcing

  14. #43
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    However, given that many admin staff get paid even less than ICT support staff it is difficult to see that much money could be saved; certainly not as much as reducing the size of the management team or slimming down the number of 'men in grey suits' that frequent our LAs & Govt Depts or Quangos.
    Yes it always makes me laugh when they're constantly messing with the cleaning staff cutting an hour here and there and not employing enough of them to try to save money I really can't see them saving anything.



    @ localzuk

    I'd like to be able to do more for our feeder schools but we haven't got time at the monent. I do wonder if some of them would benefit from a thin client setup that we managed from this end.

  15. #44
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    you can see that with Balls talking about making savings via 'natural wastage'. What a cop out. The politicians will also pick on easy targets when it comes to cuts, stuff related to immigration is an easy target for instance. The main parties are good at pandering to the court of public opinion.
    You can always rely on a politician from one of the main political parties to NOT prove you wrong.

    Just listened to a very satirical moment on radio 5 live. someone from the libdems being interviewed about the pay of privates in the armed forces. And on the subject of spending cuts in defence budget.

    Went somethign like this.....privates are on a starting salary of 16k a year, libdems feel this should be increased to be inline with the pay of entry level positions in the policeforce and fire services of around 22k a year.

    Irrespective of the merits of such a proposal, that is undoubtedly a populist move. What else ?!?

    To pay for this, there are 90000 civil servants doing admin and what have you back in the MoD. they'd get rid of some of these [for they tick the box of easy targets]......more good, populist court of public opinion stuff. they are on a roll. hang on....

    How exactly would they be rid of a proportion of these pen pushers, what of the cost of making thousands of them redundant ? Don't worry the libdems have thought this through, we don't have to worry about redundancy payouts, our old friend 'natural wastage' comes to the rescue. ROFL.
    figure being bandied about was 10% over 18 months in natural wastage.

    suffice to say the interviewer wasn't convinced with those figures, and the libdem chap did tie himself up in knots a bit, especially when it was put to him that they weren't actually 'cutting' anything with this idea.

    and what did i say about politicians being incapable of making tough choices. It doesn't matter anyway, because they'll never get in. it's just noise.

  16. #45
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    The estimated education budget total for 2009 is £70bn

    So £2bn of that isn't huge but will be felt by us all.

    2 of the policy suggestions are:

    Pay discipline - this will affect us as we should all be part of the support staff pay negotiation body by then, the DCSF will be negotiating our pay not the local govn.

    Schools could cut up to 10% of their spending on equipment, facilities, insurance and energy through the sort of joint procurement used in the private sector, officials suggested.
    Don't know about everyone else but this year due to the poor exchange rate, I've found most things more expensive for my projects. Don't know where I could save 10%!

  17. Thanks to steve from:

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